CHAPTER 21 (XXI) OF PARALLELS (SOME STORY OF SOME LIFE)

Chapter XXI

More than one Battle Front

 

Orins heavily concerned look slightly startled David, as he got back. Never the less, she took out handkerchief to wipe blood from a corner of Davids mouth, as she finished, she went to turn off music. As far as she knew he was gone for no more than five-ten minutes, that let her wander off around the flat for a bit, but then she saw how this man started to have a sort of seizure, with blood flowing out of ears and mouth. Right then, just like he asked her, she did her best and got him back to “living”.

– Can you make us tea? – David asked as he moved to sit on a couch.
Slight nod and Orin went to put electric kettle on, then she got back and sat near David.

– How did it go? – Her worries were written all over her face. David took a moment to gather whatever had to be said.

– Niko is a witch. Evil sort of witch. As for Elyon – she holds up well, does her best at studying, so to speak. I am not feeling well, so would you be kind enough to be silent for the rest of the day?

Orin nodded, as she saw how horrible David looked. It was the look of a man who saw a ghost, or death itself, therefore she in a way let it slip. Kettle was whistling as it boiled. Orin got up and went to the kitchen, fiddling with cups – making tea.

David stared at a random point in the room, nothing in focus, nothing in particular. Having memories back has its harsh appeal, making you relive the moments in instant. For most memories that he had and obtained – all contradicted one another. What he knew was now battling what he forgot.

Saddest part that he thought was fact that apparently he was one other last person from Fifth Realm, apart from Niko. The rest of memories got back, leading to David crying, for he remembered the loved ones who died, who he cared about and cherished.

“It’s all my fault…” – he mumbled.

***

The freat group of five, with Ary leading this party, walked through outskirts of town Lativa.
Lativa – town known for great artisans, performers, creators, with one perk of mainly inhuman creatures living here. Different animals, elves, dwarves, pixies, Ents, nymphs, some mixed race witches – all beastly, magical and part human, or inhuman, together in one place, leaving humans as the least expected thing here. Therefore in this town – deformity was viewed as beauty, even if for many it was the peak of disgust – it all was naturally accepted here. No matter what it was or who it was.

Pathways crafted from enchanted stones and wood, which would glow at night, to light up path. Architecture pleased eyes with vast selection of innovations, ideas and beauty. Mechanisms that used fungi as street lamps, some houses made of enchanted ice, some others made in trees, some made of stone, some out of metal, glass, everything varied in length, width, colours and décor.

Street musicians playing on medusa strings, coral guitars, then there were craftsmen chiselling out scenes on snake skin blocks, which were around metre by two in size. Painters with ink from gollumns, dancers with many tails, covered in fur. Magical place – Town Lativa.

Gabriel found a hotel to stay for a night, run by a Ware cat. Ary went out for shopping, Niko sat in her room, Gabriel with Yuki and Erick spent time together, going through memories, people and events. Quite a lot to get on with on both sides, and as they were – they chatted in tavern, whilst drinking local alcohol brew.

***

Bright lights shimmer in distance, trio is lurking in shadows outside the Forbidden City.
“Do I have to remind that it was reckless to accept such request from him? It is impossible to kill Emperor with all this guard.” – Cat looked at other two.
“Better to kill, than be killed by this maniac.” – Doppel had tight grip on her blade.
“I’ll go clear us a path.” – Said Rabbit and jumped off, leaving other two behind.
Doppel looked at Cat: “We only have one chance at this.”

***

Phone call rattled air, making owner deeply displeased due to lack of sleep as is, yet he switched the darn button to “Answer call”.

– Seriously? How many hours per day do you sleep? – Marins voice rang in ears. She was too loud. – Goddess gracious, you never learn! Anyway, you better get yourself well dressed, well, presentable in least. We’ve got board members coming in today. I couldn’t postpone meeting any longer. So you better deal with it. – Marin grunted, – Adrian, I’ll bloody skin you, if you fail to make them believe in whatever bullshit you’ll pull this time. For they, buffoon gents, are majorly unhappy, to say in least. It’s 11am now, so be ready by 1.30pm, dear husband.

With this entire ruckus said – call ended, leaving Adrian with crusty eyes, pale look and headache.

– How I hate this bitch… – he breathed out, turned around to get another hour of sleep.

***

Halls reek of cleaning chemicals – a kind of a perk of the Forbidden City – to keep most of high priority places surgically clean. All these precautions are due to other type of chemicals and viruses used on site, as well as bacteria types and quirky contaminations.

Also, due to technological advancement it is highly recommended to keep face masks on, which is quite close to a norm here, and not surprising.
Today again was one other virus outbreak in east lab, due to this the whole east wing was sealed off by barrier – keeping everyone quarantined until further notice.

Such “events” are normal for those who live here, work here and waste their lives being a lab rat to scientists that rule over the majority of this town.

Emperors’ quarters are in south-west, covering quarter of the area with massive gardens and a huge mansion. But all of it, like most of high-class priority objects, is protected by a barrier, not allowing any outside interference with ecosystem that is kept inside.

Doppel and other two bought the guards of one of the “underground gates” that lead to mansion. In needed time both guards walked away, busting system to not notice anything within next 10-15 minutes, keeping everything “protected”, yet leaving the entry up for the Trio to sneak in.

Spotless hall, small of detergents and alcohol based cleaning products was heavy. Cat had to cover up nose even with cloth above his mask – it was unbearable. Soon enough they reached door that lead to garden, used by mansion staff.

Change of aroma was pleasing. All three took masks off to breathe is scent of flowers and mown grass. Night time was quite bright in Forbidden City, but here it was dark. No lights – just stars shimmering above.
Rabbit dashed off to check out area – all clean. Trio then moved in, towards the mansions conservatory, where Emperor tended to his writings. All three silently sneaked in, closing glass door behind them.

– You’re late. – Voice, steel cold, spoke from inside conservatory, having the three assassins confused, – I knew you were coming, – Voice kept at it, – May I guess: dear friend of mine asked for my death, but before you’ll harvest my soul, I want to shed light on things you’ll need in near future.

Emperor lit up candle near him – letting trio see the man clearly.

– He asked of you to “assassinate” me. That’s just like him. Making sure he’ll get what he’s after. – Emperor lit up cigarette from the candle fire, smoking it pleasingly.

– Your excellency, you knew we were coming… how?  – Doppel spoke up.

The man just puffed out smoke, like a dragon, then turned his glance towards Doppel.

– Still keeping up manners, even though you’re here to kill me? Thank you at least for that. Sit, you three lost lambs. What you’ll get to know will be needed by someone close to you dearly.

Emperors voice cold, each word made enough pressure on the trio. Doppel, Cat and Rabbit exchanged looks, wondering about situation, yet they followed the advice, agreeing to sit on couch and chairs before the Emperor.

– So, we’ll be messengers to Niko. That’s what you’re saying? – Rabbit put his swords away.

– Yes. – Emperor puffed smokes.

– What is the message? – Cat blurred.

– You’re hired by Adrian. ‘That right? – Emperor eyed them.

Doppel nodded.

– He is nutcase, who was making issues around his endless desires to get our technology blueprints, information and resources. I, for most part, sat awed by his words about another parallel which he came from. Later when my birds gained information from Kingdom, we found out that long ago one of the Kings – King Leon, who ruled before, had been “lost” for three days, then came back with wondrous stories. Unbelievable stories of land that was not filled with magic and had no other creatures than humans.
Sometime later a boy appeared, spending time here, learning of this world and its customs, then he vanished in thin air. This boy almost didn’t age. Writings about his appearances within Kindgom were countless. He floated back and forth. Then he disappeared. Few centuries, in which we had tremendous war, nothing of him was mentioned or documented anywhere, then, as we got our prosperity back – he returned a man. Eventually we researched further. Long before boy showed up, when we had prime species on our planet still existing – ancestors discovered the Fifth Dimension, and that lead them to great loses. One horrid person was the Mad King, with Witch that slipped through from Fifth Dimention by his side, along with Demon and “Rose”. Nobody knows of Witch or “Rose”, or who they are, or where they went. History was tackled with; it seems, to erase the information about them. What this boy, who met King Leon, is seeking… What Adrian is seeking is the impossible – origin of his teachers. Yet he wouldn’t tell me who taught him. Is it he or she, or name, for that matter, all he said is – he needs the history that was erased. For all that he is demanding our technology along with all power that this planet has, to unravel his mysteries.
My ancestors had mentioned that they’ve met Witch, but they spoke of this Witch with love. I’ve, in a way, met her too. First Emperor, who survived war, lead diary. I’ve read it. He spoke of his love for Rose, Kings Rose. He tried to take away “Rose”, but had Witch tell him prophecy of Roses never ending love for King. And it really was – never ending. Rose became insane after Kings death. Emperor assumed it was from Witches hands, as she loved King too. Aparently Witch was there, next to King, long before “Rose”, sacrificing self for King, doing all he asked, each whim he had – she made it all. Then, as Rose showed up, taking away King, she let it all burn, as she felt agony from having loved one taken away from her. For this unreturned love each Emperor had loved Witch, even a little.
You must keep this story in your teeny heads, for when time comes, you know how it’ll help.

Ashes from cigarette fell down on the floor. Emperor gestured Rabbit with hand. A sort of gesture all best assassins know – that target is ready to die. In mere seconds Emperor was stung with blades, pierced deep through his heart.
“That agonising love…” – Words of Emperors last breath froze in the air, just like smile on his lips were now like a mask.

Doppel looked down: “What is really going on in this mad world?”

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